Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting
Welcome and Apologies
The Chair, Cllr Richard Searl, welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were received from Cllr Ian Thomas.
RJ advised that a vacancy exists on the Community Council. A Notice of Election will be published, however, should ten electors request an election then guidance currently states that by-election’s cannot be held until 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Should an election not be requested, then the Community Council can proceed to co-opt a Member.
ACTION: RJ to arrange publication of Notice of Election.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Taff Bargoed Catchment Restoration Scheme - Rachel Morton, MTCBC (15 Mins)
Ms Rachel Morton, Project Manager, MTCBC, updated Council on the Taf Bargoed Catchment Restoration Scheme. This project involves restoring the river.
Ms Morton advised Council that she would provide regular updates.
Cllr Jago raised concerns about minimising the area used by Anglers, Ms Morton advised that she would be meeting with the Anglers Association to discuss their concerns.
The Police were unable to attend the meeting but provided the following email report:
The relevant police figures since the last report I gave are from 23/10/20- today’s date and are as follows:
8/11/20- Stolen vehicle located near Pleasant View at top of the hill. Investigations are ongoing.
31/10/20- Two Covid breaches at Pandy View- Fixed penalty notices issued.
RJ advised that the new Community Inspector, Jonathan Durkham, had been invited to attend the meeting. Inspector Durkham was unavailable for this evening’s meeting but would try and attend the December 2020 meeting.
ACTION: RJ to upload Police figures to the Community Council website and Social Media Channels.
Minutes of Previous Meeting
Cllr Richard Searl proposed that the minutes of the previous meeting be recorded as a true reflection of the meeting, this was seconded by Cllr Vanessa Matthews.
Council resolved to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
The £50 donation to The British Heart Foundation, in memory of Cllr Helen Thomas has been made.
The Butterfly Garden at Bedlinog Community Primary School has been completed. Headteacher, Ryan Morgan, has thanked the Community council for arranging this grant via Keep Wales Tidy. The materials for the Wildlife Garden at Bedlinog Community Centre have been ordered by Keep Wales Tidy, and they will arrange an installation date once all materials have been received.
MTCBC Planning Department have been advised that Council had no objections to application P/20/0221.
There are still on-going issues with the lights at Hylton Terrace, Bedlinog. Cllr Richard Searl, will be having a site meeting with an Officer from MTCBC Street Lighting Department on Wednesday 11th November 2020.
The repair work at the Kickabout area at the rear of Hylton Terrace has been completed. We are still waiting a price for fencing and a gate – the fencing currently in place is no longer manufactured and MTCBC have had delays liaising with providers due to the Firebreak. They will update us with proposed costings as soon as these are received.
MTCBC Street Lighting Department have been advised of the numbers and locations for the Christmas lights in Bedlinog and Trelewis and these will be switched on w/c 16th November 2020.
The funding for the Christmas gifts for the children of Bedlinog and Trelewis Primary Schools has been passed to both schools. MTCBC are providing a list of those children in the community that attend Edwardsville Primary, Greenfield, and Ysgol Rhyd Y Grug, so that the Community Council can also provide them with gifts.
An application for a grant to The Big Lottery to fund the pantomime for both schools has been approved - £2500 has been awarded to the Community Council and the pantomime will be arranged for 2021.
No further communication has been received about the Community Library moving to Bedlinog Community Centre.
The dog waste bin in Garth Terrace has been moved from outside a resident’s property, as requested, to an alternative position in the street.
The updated versions of the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Council Risk Assessment, and COVID-Risk Assessment have been uploaded to the Community Council website.
The locations for the work to be carried out as part of the Local Places for Nature grant is out for a 28-day consultation with County Councillors and necessary MTCBC departments. Providing there are no objections, the Estates Department at MTCBC, will issue licences to the Community Council for works to proceed. To date, the feedback as part of the consultation has been incredibly positive.
RJ contacted the Engineering Department at MTCBC about the culvert that caused flooding of the Allotments during Storm Dennis. RJ advised that the Council will be spending money on the re-development of the Allotments as part of grant funding and requested reassurance that the flooding will not happen again. Engineering advised that repair works will be carried out after Christmas and the culvert is now checked on ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
County Councillors Report
Cllr Sherelle Jago stated that over the last month, lots of meetings of the Local Authority have been held virtually. Cllr Jago has also attended the Taf Bargoed Learning Partnership Finance meeting and Autumn Term Meeting. Both schools are in a very stable financial position.
Regarding Bedlinog Primary School, an extension is planned, and Little Cubs Pre-School were due to move into the new facility. The pre-school has now closed, and Cllr Jago is working with MTCBC to provide an alternative provider.
Cllr Jago also attended a meeting of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Panel, where the new Chief Constable, Jeremy Vaughan’s appointment was endorsed.
A Full Council meeting was held 4th November 2020, most of the meeting was dedicated to the new Cyfarthfa Park programme – a 20-year plan to regenerate the park and museum.
A business case was also presented to Council to bring the gully sucker service back-in house, as it has been outsourced to Caerphilly County Borough Council for the last five years.
WG has provided each Local Authority an amount of money to support young females and end period poverty. Outreach and sanitary supplies will also be provided for Bedlinog and Trelewis Youth Club.
The new playground in the Shindrig Estate has been opened – this was funded by Redrow and is being well used by the community.
MTCBC are also consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order in terms of dog fouling, an instant fine can be issued of up to £100, and failure to pay can lead to them being summoned to court with the fine increased to £1000.
Cllr Malcolm Colbran provided the following email report:
During October I attended virtual meetings of the Merthyr Tydfil Independent Group, Full Council, the Planning Committee, the Regeneration Scrutiny Committee and took part in a Councillor's permanency workshop.
As the Council’s representative I attended two meetings of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority as well as meetings of their Audit Committee and Planning & Rights of Way Committee, I also took part in a virtual planning site visit and attended a diversity training session. It has been a very challenging time for the Parks Authority as their entire computer system was taken offline by a cyber ransomware attack.
Unfortunately, the Mayor was unwell on the 21st October so, as his Deputy, I laid a wreath at Aberfan cemetery to mark the anniversary of the disaster.
The new Trelewis Playground on the Wimpy Estate has opened. Cllr. Jago and I have worked hard on this project for the last 3½ years.
I have helped residents with problems centred around waste collections, housing, and environmental health issues. Although there has been a decrease in the number of complaints, I have received regarding anti-social behaviour this month off-road biking continues to be a problem throughout the Ward.
Following the announcement of the new Firebreak NDR grant I have been in contact with local businesses and advising them how to apply.
Several residents have asked if I ... view the full minutes text for item 54.
Council considered Planning Application P/20/0242 – Proposed new dwelling, commercial boarding kennel and barn conversion to holiday let – Land at Bryn-Rhedyn Farm, Bedlinog, CF46 6UF.
Councillors felt that the noise pollution from a commercial boarding kennel would be of detriment to residents in Commercial Street, Bedlinog.
Cllr Jago proposed that the Community Council inform Planning at MTCBC of these concerns, this was seconded by Cllr Frayne.
Council resolved to object to the application on the grounds of potential noise pollution from the commercial boarding kennels.
Welsh Government have advised that the Community Council that they are awarding us a 39k grant from the Circular Economy Fund. The aim is to move to a circular economy in Wales where waste is avoided and the things we use are kept in use for as long as possible. The fund will be used for solar panels at Bedlinog Community Centre, a social media campaign for residents to help the community become a champion of recycling in Wales, also for outdoor water refill-stations in the community as a pilot with MTCBC, and to provide food waste compost bins and reusable water bottles to residents. This will help minimise the use of single use plastic and re-use of food waste.
The One Voice Wales Newsletter has been shared with Cllrs.
Correspondence was received on the Community Council Facebook page from residents concerned about a blocked drain outside the Chapel on Bedlinog Hill. This has previously been reported to MTCBC by the Community Council and residents but has not been cleared.
ACTION: Cllr Jago to chase the clearing of the blocked drain with MTCBC.
Whilst MTCBC were not providing a Pest Control Service from March – September 2020, the Community Council funded the first visit from a private provider for residents. Cllr Jago asked if we could continue this service as some families were still impacted financially by the COVID pandemic and MTCBC charge a £40 call out fee for each visit.
Cllr Searl proposed that this be provided and reviewed on a month by month basis. This was seconded by Cllr Frayne.
Council resolved to continue the service and review at each monthly Council meeting.
Cllr Jago advised that Cllr Colbran had requested if the Community Council would fund the repair or replacement, if required, of a dog waste bin in Bedlinog Terrace. Cllr Jago also asked if the Community Council would fund new bins near Glyn Bargoed House, Trelewis, and the new playground area on the Shindrig Estate. Cllr Jones requested bins for Bedlinog High Street and Pleasant View.
Cllr Searl proposed the purchase, and this was seconded by Cllr Preston.
Council resolved to the purchase of the additional dog waste bins.
ACTION: RJ to arrange purchase of the dog waste bins and installation with MTCBC.
Further to the discussion at the October 2020 meeting, Cllr Jago advised that she did not have costings for the OAP Christmas packs but asked for a contribution towards these from the Community Council. A discussion took place, and it was agreed that the Council would provide up to £500 – once costings and details of other funding towards the packs are received a decision can be made on the exact amount. Cllr Jago advised that initially the packs would be provided to over 70’s in the community, but the age bracket has changed, and they will be provided to the over 75’s only.
ACTION: Cllr Jago to provide costings of each pack and details of other funding received so a decision can be made on the contribution from the Community Council.
Cllr Frayne stated that the fencing between Bedlinog and Trelewis is in a bad state and in need of repair. Cllr Jago advised that this has been raised with the Local Authority, but it is private land, the LA were going to look at possible funding avenues to get the fence repaired/replaced.
ACTION: Cllr Jago to chase funding avenues with the LA for repair/replacement of the fence.
Cllr Frayne also queried whether a quote had been received to repair the wall along Taf Road. RJ advised that the Engineering Department have said that they have a back-log of work following Storm Dennis and the pandemic and will provide details ASAP.
ACTION: RJ to chase MTCBC Engineering Department on a quote for repair works to the wall.
Clerk's Annual Appraisal and Staffing Committee
RJ left the meeting for this item.
Cllr Beard advised Council that himself and Cllr Searl had completed the Clerk’s annual appraisal. Cllr Beard proposed that the Clerk be paid SCP 20 from May 2020 – October 2020, and SCP 22 from November 2020. Also, that the Clerk be paid for the training hours being completed and that a Level 7 qualification is completed upon completion of the current CiLCA qualification. On completion of the Level 7 qualification, the Clerk would move to SCP 33-36. Cllr Beard also requested the setting up of a Staffing Committee to deal with issues of employee contracts, job descriptions, salary, and training requirements with a view to report back to Council. Cllrs Searl, Beard and Matthews put their names forward to sit on the Staffing Committee. This was seconded by Cllr Searl.
Council resolved to accept the proposal regarding the Clerk’s SCP, training hours and future training and setting up of the Staffing Committee.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Council will be held virtually, Monday 14th December 2020, 6.15pm.